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Biomedical Sciences
Robin L. Davisson, Ph.D.
Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine
and Cell and Developmental Biology, Weill Cornell Medical College

. Faculty .
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Phone: 607 253 3537
Fax: 607 253 3378

Robin L. Davisson, professor of molecular physiology, joined the faculty of Cornell University in July 2006. She has a joint appointment in the College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca and in the Weill Cornell Medical College in NYC. With laboratories and research teams in both places, Dr. Davisson splits her time between the two campuses.

Before moving to Cornell, Dr. Davisson had been a member of the faculty of the University of Iowa since 1998, where she taught neuroscience, cardiovascular physiology and genomics to medical, dental, and graduate students. In addition to her traditional health sciences instructional activities, Professor Davisson created an innovative, widely recognized course at Iowa, “Survival Skills for a Research Career,” focusing on the full spectrum of communication, grant-writing and other skills required for a successful career in science. She also helped develop the first Master Teaching program for graduate students in the biomedical sciences at Iowa. She received the Outstanding Mentor Award (Biological and Life Sciences) from the University of Iowa Graduate College in 2005 for her exemplary mentoring of undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students in the areas of research, teaching, and career development. Dr. Davisson has mentored more than 30 undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students, most of whom have gone on to further health sciences training or careers in biomedical research.  

Professor Davisson’s research focuses on the basic mechanisms of function, control, and signaling in the cardiovascular system in health and disease. Her investigations employ the interdisciplinary approach of “functional genomics,” a new endeavor at the interface of classical physiology and molecular genetics. Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying hypertension, heart failure, and the pregnancy-induced cardiovascular syndrome pre-eclampsia are the main focuses of her research efforts. She has published numerous original research and review articles and book chapters and has given invited presentations throughout the United States as well as in South America, Europe, and Asia.

Her research has been funded by competitive grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, and private industry for more than two decades. In addition, her research has earned multiple prestigious awards, including the Harry Goldblatt Award in Cardiovascular Research from the American Heart Association and the Henry Pickering Bowditch Award from the American Physiological Society. She has also won awards from the American Society of Hypertension, the International Society of Hypertension, and the International Congress of Physiological Sciences.

Professor Davisson has been actively involved in service to national and international organizations and journals. She has served on programming and steering committees for the American Physiological Society, served on the leadership committee, and currently serves on the programming committee of the American Heart Association High Blood Pressure Research Council, and performs grant peer-reviewer for a number of grants agencies including NIH and AHA. She also serves on the editorial boards of Hypertension, Physiological Genomics, and the American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative.

Professor Davisson earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Iowa in 1988 and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a master’s degree in psychology (1991) and her doctorate in pharmacology (1994), also from the University of Iowa. While a graduate student, she won a Norwegian Marshall Fund Award for Graduate Study Abroad. She completed a four-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Iowa Cardiovascular Research Center and the Center for Hypertension Genomics before joining the UI faculty as an assistant professor of anatomy and cell biology. She was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2004.

Select Publications

  1. Davisson, R.L., Yang, G., Beltz, T.G., Johnson, A.K. and Sigmund, C.D. The brain renin-angiotensin system contributes to the hypertension in mice containing both the human renin and human angiotensinogen transgenes. Circulation Res. 83:1047-1058, 1998.
  2. Butz, G.M. and Davisson, R.L. Long-term telemetric measurement of cardiovascular parameters in awake mice: a physiological genomics tool. Physiol. Genomics 5:89-97, 2001.
  3. Lazartigues, E., Dunlay, S.M., Loihl, A.K., Sinnayah, P., Espelund, J.J., Lang, J.A., Sigmund, C.D. and Davisson, R.L. Brain-selective overexpression of angiotensin (AT1) receptors causes enhanced cardiovascular sensitivity in transgenic mice. Circulation Res. 90:617-624, 2002. (featured in editorial, Circulation Res. 90:503-505)
  4. Sinnayah, P., Lindley, T.E., Staber, P.D., Cassell, M.D., Davidson, B.L. and Davisson, R.L. Selective gene transfer to key cardiovascular control regions of the brain: comparison of two viral vector systems. Hypertension 39:603-608, 2002. (figure from paper chosen for cover)
  5. Davisson, R.L., Hoffmann, D.S., Butz, G.M., Aldape, G., Schlager, G., Merrill, D.C., Sethi, S., Weiss, R.M. and Bates, J.N. Discovery of a spontaneous genetic mouse model of preeclampsia. Hypertension 39:337-42, 2002. (received American Heart Association Harry Goldblatt Award based on this paper)
  6. Zimmerman, M., Lazartigues, E., Lang, J.A., Sinnayah, P., Ahmad, I.M., Spitz, D.R., and Davisson, R.L. Superoxide mediates the actions of angiotensin II in the central nervous system. Circulation Res. 91(11):1038-45, 2002. (featured in editorial, Circulation Res. 91:982-983; figure from paper chosen for cover)
  7. Lindley, T.E., Doobay, M.F., Sharma, R.V. and Davisson, R.L. Superoxide is involved in the central nervous system activation and sympatho-excitation of myocardial infarction-induced heart failure. Circulation Res. 94:402-409, 2004. (figure from paper chosen for cover)
  8. Sinnayah, P., Lindley, T.E., Staber, P.D., Davidson, B.L., Cassell, M.D. and Davisson, R.L. Targeted viral delivery of cre recombinase induces conditional gene deletion in cardiovascular circuits of the mouse brain. Physiolog. Genomics 18:25-32, 2004. (featured in editorial, Physiolog. Genomics 18:1-3)
  9. Zimmerman, M.C., Lazartigues, E., Sharma, R.V. and Davisson, R.L. Hypertension caused by angiotensin II infusion involves increased superoxide production in the central nervous system. Circulation Res. 95:210-216, 2004. (featured in editorial, Circulation Res. 95:122-124)
  10. Dokras, A., Hoffmann, D.S., Eastvold, J.S., Kienzle, M.F., Gruman, L.M., Kirby, P.L., Weiss, R.M., Davisson, R.L. Severe feto-placental abnormalities precede the onset of hypertension and proteinuria in a mouse model of pre-eclampsia. Bio Reprod. 75:899-907, 2006.
  11. Peterson, J.R., Infanger, D.W., Braga, V.A., Zhang, Y., Sharma, R.V., Engelhardt, J.F., Davisson, R.L. Longitudinal non-invasive monitoring of transcription factor activation in cardiovascular regulatory nuclei using bioluminescence imaging. Physiological Genomics, 33:292-299, 2008. (featured on journal cover)


Complete publications listed in Pubmed.